History of Bainbridge, New York
GAZETTEER ans BUSINESS DIRECTORY
OF CHENANGO COUNTY, N. Y. FOR 1869-70.
COMPILED and PUBLISHED BY HAMILTON CHILD, SYRACUSE, NY 1869
BAINBRIDGE was formed February 16, 1791, as "Jericho." It was then a
part of Tioga County and retained its name until April 15, 1814, when it received its present name. Its territory
has since been diminished by taking off parts of Norwich and Oxford 1793, and of Greene in 1798 and 1799, and Afton
in 1857. It lies upon the east border of the County, south of the center. The surface is a rolling upland, divided
into two parts by the Susquehanna which flows through near the center. The course of the river is south-westerly
after it enters the town, until it reaches the village, thence southerly until it passes beyond the border. The
valley of the river is about a mile wide and is bordered by gradually sloping hillsides. The highest summits are
elevated from 400 to 600 feet above the valleys. The soil upon the hills is a gravelly and shaly loam, and in the
valleys a fine fertile clay loam and alluvium. Dairying is carried on to a considerable extent.
The territory included in this town was at first claimed by Robert Harper, under
a grant from the Indians, but the State repudiated the title and granted a part of it to the "Vermont Sufferers."
These were persons who had purchased land within the limits of the present State of Vermont, under titles from
the State of New York, which claimed that territory. After years of difficulty the State of New York surrendered
her claim and gave those persons whose claims in Vermont had become invalid, lands in the present town of Bainbridge.
The State Gazetteer says the first settlements were commenced in 1785, but other authorities make it two years
later. One of the first settlers was Reuben Kirby, on a farm now occupied by his son, Reuben Kirby. In 1789 Major
Henry Evans came in and occupied what is known as "Major Evans' Square," which comprised three lots of
640 acres each in the east part of the town. The land was deeded to him as one of the Vermont Sufferers. His residence
was on lot 80, the farm now owned by Paul C. Underwood. Jehial Evans, now living and to whom we are indebted, for
much of the information given herewith, was born here in 1795 and removed into the village of Bainbridge in 1808.
Ansel Evans, brothers of the last named, is now eighty years of age and lives on one of the farms included in the
original purchase. The village of Bainbridge stands upon one of these lots and was sold by Major Evans to Col.
Church, in 1793, for eighteen cents an acre. It is said that Stephen Stiles purchased and settled upon one of these
lots at an earlier date, under a title from Robert Harper, but the title was disallowed and he removed. Samuel
Bigsby settled upon lot 75 in 1789. The original deed, which has been preserved, was given by Gcvernor George Clinton
and dated January 12th, 1789. Elnathan Bush with his children, Charles, Japhet, Joseph and Polly, started from
Cooperstown, May 2d, 1786, and passed down the Susquehanna River in canoes to Stowell's Island, in the town of
Afton. Charles Bush had served as a soldier in the Revolutionary War. Here they remained until April, 1790, when
they removed to Bainbridge and settled on the farm now occupied by Joseph Bush, Esq., grandson of the old gentleman
above named; Just in the rear of tihe old homestead, in an inclosure, is a plain marble slab with the following
inscription: "In memory of Elnathan Bush who died May 15th, 1791, aged 63 years." His was the first death
in the town and occurred nearly or quite a year previous to that of Mrs. Reuben Kirby, which is stated by the State
Gazetteer to be the first. William Allison settled here in 1795, on the farm now occupied by William S. Sayre,
Esq. Gould Bacon also came in the same. year and located near the river. He was an old bachelor and somewhat eccentric,
as such men usually are. During his res. idence here a great freshet occurred in the month of August, the water
rising to such a height as to completely surround his house. Not being sufficiently aquatic to remain in this situation
he filled a satchel with provisions, took his gun and fled to a neighboring tree for security. Unfortunately he
soon lost his satchel and was compelled to subsist upon pumpkins which were brought down by tIie flood from the
adjacent fields. This event has since been known as the "Pumpkin Freshet." Among the other early settlers
were William Gutherie, Abraham Fuller, Heath Kelsey, Eben and Joseph Landers, James Graham, Samuel Nourse, John
Campbell, better known throughout the town as "Scotch" Campbell, from his birth place, Asahel Bigsby,
Deacon Israel Smith, Reuben Bump, Jared Redfield, Simeon Smith, David Hitchcock, James B. Nichols, R. W. Juliand,
Edward, Noble, Cesar and Jervis Price, the last named from New Miliford, Conn., Richard L. and Frederic H. Dazang,
David Sears, Richard L. Lawrence, Solomon Warner, Moses Stockwell, Abel Conant, Redben Beals, Thomas, Robert, Samuel,
Henry and Matt Pearsoll, Peter Betts, Jabez S. Fitch, Charles Curtis, Ezra Hill,. Samuel Banks, Aaron Myers, Perry
Peckham, Joshua Mercereau, Hiram Dennison, John Y. Bennett, John Thompson, Timothy Davis, Eli Seeley, Orange Benton,
Nathaniel and Thomas Humphrey, Abner Searles, Jacob, Thomas and James Ireland, William, Charles, Samuel and Daniel
Lyon, Seth Johnson and John Nichols.